A very fun read
I haven’t read much by Jess Lea but this was my cup of tea. Looking for Trouble: a quirky romantic mystery is exactly that, equal parts eccentric humour, political intrigue and sweet romance.
Nancy has a PhD in Political Science but she’s stuck with low-paid jobs, in a terrible shared house and no girlfriend. She wants to become a political journalist and what a better idea than covering the Melbourne by-election?
Enter George, a butch bus driver and party volunteer, who’s trying to avoid a vengeful ex. Their first meeting doesn’t end up well but when they get caught up in the middle of a crazy political campaign, they will have to learn to trust each other to stay alive.
This is a butch/femme opposites attract story. Political intrigue novels are my jam, even more if they mix it with humour. Jess Lea is an Australian writer and this story reflects that in the language, customs and geographical setting. If you are used to reading American novels some expressions might sound odd but the sense of humour is fantastic. It’s quirky, smart a d sardonic:
“…she’s been contracted to write a book about the submerged queer sub-narratives of reality television in the noughties.”
“Is that what people write books about now?” George looked surprised. “Last time I was in a bookshop, it was all bondage, vampires, and colouring books for grownups. Guess that was a while ago.”
I liked that the author uses humour as a way of criticising the political landscape: from candidates who want to free pets from “slavery” to politicians who promise to shut the Internet down, they all have in common the greed for power and no ethics in their fight to achieve it. If I had read this novel some years ago, I would have thought that it was taking it a step too far but lately reality has a way to overpower fiction.
The intrigue aspects of the book are very well developed, this is a long-ish book and there are a few twists and turns. Some events are expected but some others aren’t. The author keeps the reader guessing who is more corrupt and has the least moral principles.
I think that picking Cat Gould as the narrator was a very smart choice. As a native Australian, she’s got the perfect accent and pronunciation. Her delivery of jokes and funny moments is spot on as well as her voices for the different characters. Her performance definitely increased my enjoyment of the story.
If you like political intrigue, a smart sense of humor and quirky characters, this book is for you. 4.5 stars.
Length: 11 hours, 50 minutes